Becoming a digital company is an unavoidable path for today’s organizations. In fact, according to Gartner , companies that do not migrate to the cloud by 2020 will be as strange as those that do not use the internet today. Whereas cloud computing is just one of the many areas of IT that represent digitization.
Adapting to this era of the digital industry or 4.0 is a must for those organizations that want to maintain their level of competitiveness in the market. If not, the projections of failure are imminent in the face of a commercial dynamic that requires more efficient processes, that is, more digital.
What differentiates a digital company from the rest?
A digital company is one that has managed to digitize its processes, its products and services and all its organizational management. In a basic way, this digitization consists of the adoption of the latest technologies to develop activities that, previously, were developed in a conventional way.
Some of the technologies that lead this digital transformation are:
- Big data
- Cloud computing
- 3d print
- Artificial intelligence (AI)
- Internet of Things (IoT)
- Augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR)
Beyond an organization that only seeks to optimize processes, a deeply digital company is one that uses technology as the main engine to increase its sales, address new markets and develop more powerful competitive advantages.
Klaus Schwab, founder of the World Economic Forum, states that:
“We are on the brink of a technological revolution that will fundamentally change the way we live, work and interact. In its scale, scope and complexity, the transformation will be unlike anything mankind has ever experienced before ” ( BBC ) .
The characteristics of a digitized company
A company that has successfully passed the digital transformation process is characterized by:
- Be data driven and make decisions based on data obtained and processed in real time.
- Have a customer centric approach that keeps your attention on pain points, touch points and friction points.
- Have a powerful, scalable and cost-optimized IT infrastructure. Basically, a cloud infrastructure.
- Integrate your technical team in business processes and your business team in technical processes.
- Establish organizational methodologies that promote internal communication and collaborative work between multidisciplinary teams.
- Promote leadership, creativity, commitment and productivity through digital tools.
- Promote continuous improvement in all senses.
- Promote an organizational culture based on overcoming limits, experimentation and the search for new solutions.
Benefits of digital transformation in a company
The digitization of a business gives it the ability to optimize all its processes at the level of agility , productivity and costs. In other words, a digital company can produce more and with better quality through state-of-the-art resources that are not as expensive as conventional ones.
As technology advances, solutions tend to be cheaper and more accurate. Thanks to this precision, digital companies also develop the ability to create more personalized products and services, with a more efficient deployment and a more direct distribution route.
In addition, the digital transformation allows us to offer a high-impact shopping experience and very satisfactory customer service. This makes the entire sales process encourage customer loyalty . The latter value more brands that are like them, that is, digital. Well, before digital consumers, digital brands.
How to digitize a company?
The journey to digitization is not a standard process. This depends on the needs, objectives and capabilities of each business. Although it is a highly methodical process, it must also be flexible and versatile.
The intention is to achieve a harmonious and balanced transformation, without forcing the company to move towards digital. Otherwise, it can lead to a collapse of the organizational culture and a breakdown of all previously established processes.
For this reason, migrating to a digital company must be a procedure that is contemplated and studied within a “digital transformation plan”. This document must specify the best practices to take into account, the steps to follow, the objectives to be achieved and the challenges to overcome.
4 keys to digitizing a company
The process of turning a conventional organization into a digital company is often susceptible to human error. To minimize the margins of error, it is necessary to keep the focus on the 4 keys to digitizing a company. Which are:
- Study current conditions
- Pass on the strategy from above
- Adapt the organizational culture
- Involve digital talent
1. Study current conditions
The digital transformation plan must detail how far the company wants to go and what it wants to achieve. However, before looking to the future, we must study the present. That is to say, the objectives, needs and capacities that the organization currently has and that represent the starting point of the entire transformation process must be analyzed.
2. Transmit the strategy from above
The digitization strategy must begin to be implemented from the head of the company, that is, from the managers. They are in charge of promoting and guiding by example how digitization should be gradually adopted in processes and communications.
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From there, the digital transformation must be filtered towards the managements, the departments and the work teams. Thus being implemented in increasingly specific corporate units, both technical and business.
3. Adapt the organizational culture
One of the most important keys to the success of the digital transformation is the adaptation of the organizational culture to the new digital management scheme. This refers to breaking old habits of behavior and promoting the use of new technologies as a pillar of a new organizational culture.
Digitization can be as successful or unsuccessful as its level of adoption by employees. In this sense, not everything is about technologies or processes, but about people’s commitment to adapt to a new work model.
4. Involve digital talent
To carry out digitization, it must be led by specialists considered digital talent . That is, professionals who are experts in state-of-the-art technologies with the ability to also act in business and management areas.
Digital talents are characterized by studying high-level studies such as:
- Master executive in big data, cloud and analytics .
- Executive master in data science for professionals .
- Executive master in artificial intelligence applied to financial markets .
- People analytics expert program .
- Expert program in artificial intelligence for the company .
- Expert program in advanced machine learning .